My good friend for 33+ years, the legendary Carmine Rojas (bassist extraordinaire) is on the road again.
He is part of the Joe Bonamassa entourage, one of the most emotional and hard-hitting, hard-rocking blues bands I’ve seen or heard in many years. That’s high praise coming from me, a grouchy old R&B blues survivor.
I journeyed to W. Palm Beach on Friday afternoon 11/30/07 to see my old friend and to see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t know. I only heard. Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever you say.
NOW I KNOW. Later that evening during their “scorched-earth” performance I was transfixed, all the way to the hair on my arms and the back of my neck that refused to lay quietly in its place. It’s been a long time since a young guitarist has given me goose bumps AND HOPE…not sure I understand that, yet.
Joe, I told you as much, backstage after Friday night’s performance. You were gracious & professional, thanking me for what I’m sure you hear all the time. Being who I am, it is unusual for me to sound like a slobbering groupie. I hope I was not annoying. I made it brief then went and ate up some of your sandwiches.
Eating yeah, some things never change. Shut up, Carmine. Tengo a comer.
Yes Brothers and Sisters, he is a guitar virtuoso, but he also sings his ass off. Yet he is not what I would call a shredder. Every note he plays means something and he has surrounded himself with an incredible group of pro musicians and a pro crew and he works his audience to a rabid frenzy.
I see Carmine’s touch all over this theatrical experience. I’m sure el Rojas would agree with me that his job is made easier and more enjoyable by one amazingly good drummer whose name is Bogie Bowles, my brother in a very special spiritual way, whom I met Friday night. Bogie…We’ll talk again!
A phenomenal keyboard man from Sidney, Australia named Rick…oh damn, I brain-farted your last name, Rick…I’m sorry… rounds out this foursome with both the Greg Allman & Jimmy Smith type organ layers of sound AND the boogie tickle of the piano. I hear both classical music & dirty blues influencing this man’s keys work.
Two days later I am still blown away by the talent and the intense, raw emotion of “Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa” and his killer band. One band! One sound. Joe, I looked to see if you have six fingers on each hand. You deserve your success and more.
I was very impressed by the road crew, including the driver, who don’t get their propers often enough. I really hope you guys got some of that Sweet and Sassy Salsa I left for the PR.
Respect to you, road dogs, one and all…from someone who knows.
Nice opening act…Crosby Loggins, you sir, are in excellent company. It was a pleasure to meet you and talk with you. All the best young man! I mean that. Kick ass. See you soon.
Kenny, be proud. MY kids are musicians, too.
Tuesday, I will ease on down to the Hard Rock Cafe in Whorlando and see you all again. This time I’ll bring the fox that keeps me coming home. Ms. Tia, herself.
Peace and Merry Christmas…Much Love